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Water contains many components, including aluminium which has come under the spotlight as a potentially harmful substance found in drinking water, but is this really true?

How does it get there?

Aluminium is the most abundant metallic element in the earth's crust, constituting about 8%. It is not surprising to find that it is commonly present in the soils and rocks of the Island as soluble oxides. Rainwater percolates down through the peat layers and soils of the hills, and into the underlying rocks, and dissolves the aluminium oxides.

Is there reason to worry?

No, the levels of aluminium found in the Island’s water supply are usually within the comprehensive EU guidelines that we have adopted. Medical research in the early 1980s indicated there was a connection between aluminium levels in drinking water and a form of senile dementia: Alzheimer's disease.

However, more recent research has moved away from this opinion, after suggestions that the links are tenuous and inconclusive. The World Health Organisation states that:

'Owing to the limitations of the animal data as a model for humans and the uncertainty surrounding the human data, a health based guideline value for aluminium in drinking water cannot be derived at this time'.

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